Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 8 previews

South (0-6, 0-4) at Carson (4-2, 2-1)
Carson jumped from middle-of-the-pack afterthought to SPC contender with last week’s stunning 28-21 win against West Rowan.
The question now is can the Cougars sustain last week’s effort level. If the answer to that question is yes, then Carson could make the same sort of energizing run East Rowan did in 2012.
On the other hand, Carson is still being outgained and outscored (140-123) for the season, so not everyone has jumped on the Cougar bandwagon just yet.
South lost QB Aaron Kennerly last week to a broken collarbone, so Carson coach Joe Pinyan wasn’t sure who to gameplan for. Receiver Eric Stowe may take the snaps for the Raiders.
Even at 100 percent, South wouldn’t be expected to fare well against the Cougars. West Rowan routed South 65-7 just two weeks ago, so it’s not hard to do the math as far as what’s supposed to happen tonight.
South’s Derrick Blackwell is the county’s No. 4 rusher and is coming off a school-record-tying five-TD game.
Carson’s offense is led by junior halfback Brandon Sloop, who has 549 rushing yards and is 115 shy of 3,000 for his career. Sloop is a good bet to get there tonight. He bulled for a career-best 245 yards against South in 2012.
Carson won 31-25 in the 2012 meeting. Carson has won the last three to tie the all-time series 3-all.
West (4-2, 2-1) at Central Cabarrus (5-1, 2-1)
A pivotal SPC game with two strong teams coming off league losses. West hasn’t lost two in a row since 2002, an amazing streak that’s in serious jeopardy tonight on the road. Central has big-time playmakers in Shrine Bowl QB Hasaan Klugh, running back Kenny Purvis and tight end Anthony Mullis.
Central, which was outscored 63-50 by Concord last week, has averaged 56 points per game in its last five outings, so West’s defense, which allows 17 points per game, is going to be seriously tested.
Central’s defense is coordinated by former South Rowan player Daniel Crosby. The head coach is Donnie Kiefer, who staged a memorable playoff battle with Scott Young’s Falcons in 2009 when he was at Tuscola.
Tailback Daisean Reddick (9.2 yards per carry) leads the Falcons, and West needs a bounce-back game from QB Harrison Baucom to win.
Safety Najee Tucker keys West’s defense.
West will be missing Tyler Kennedy (concussion), and he’s not only a starting cornerback, he’s a huge part of West’s outstanding special teams.
Central leads the all-time series 8-6. The last time the Vikings beat West was in 1998, Young’s first year. Young is 4-1 against Central.
Lexington (0-6) at North (6-0)

This is the Central Carolina Conference opener for both teams.
North is ranked No. 1 in 2A and is coming off a bye week.
North rallied for wins against two teams — Statesville and Davie — that beat Lexington badly.
While the Yellow Jackets are winless, it should be noted they’ve taken on a brutal schedule — Monroe, Newton-Conover, 4As Davie and North Davidson, Statesville and Carver.
Lexington has its fourth head coach in five seasons in Chuck Henderson, who coached some stout teams against North and Salisbury during his seven-year stint at Ledford. More recently, Henderson has been the head coach at Asheboro.
With QB Jareke Chambers, the county’s top rusher and total-offense leader, showing the way, North is averaging 37 points per game.
Lexington’s best offensive showing so far was 28 points against Newton-Conover.
North leads the all-time series 21-15. North last beat Lexington in 2007.
The Yellow Jackets have won the last three, the most recent of which was in 2010.
East (2-4, 1-3) at NW Cabarrus (5-1, 2-1)
The schools were fierce rivals once, and they’re back in the same league (SPC) after a four-year break.
NWC, lightly regarded when the season began, has lost only to West Rowan and qualifies as a pleasant surprise. East, expected to contend, has dropped three straight contests.
QB Brandon White and running bck Armon Dooley lead the Trojans.
The pass-catch combination of twins Samuel and Seth Wyrick is the bright spot for the Mustangs. They lead the county in passing and receiving, respectively.
East’s defense is allowing 29 points a game, eight more than last season.
Northwest leads the series 17-13. NWC won the most recent meeting in 2008. East’s most recent victory in the series was in 2004.
East Davidson (5-1) at Salisbury (0-6)
Salisbury has been outscored 249-39, which is pretty staggering for a program that won a state title in 2010.
The Hornets have been shut out four times already. The good news is that the worst of the schedule is in the rearview mirror now.
CCC play starts tonight.

East Davidson has lost only to Ledford (4-2) and has scored at least four touchdowns in all five wins.
The Hornets won 47-18 in 2012 and lead the all-time series 13-7. East Davidson picked up a forfeit win in 2008 but hasn’t beaten Salisbury on the field since 2003.
A.L. Brown (5-1, 2-0) at Robinson (0-6, 0-2)
The Wonders beat Vance 55-40 last week, and Vance crushed Robinson 47-7, so there’s not much suspense in this MECKA matchup.
Former Catawba assistant John Fitz is in his first year at Robinson. The Wonders rolled 69-21 in 2012 and have never lost to the Bulldogs.